According to The Express, Arsenal are monitoring Brentford striker Ivan Toney.
Mikel Arteta’s side currently have a number of strikers on their books, but with Alexandre Lacazette’s contract coming to an end in the summer of 2022, the Gunners may be on the look-out for a new centre-forward.
And, according to The Express, one man who is attracting interest from the Premier League side’s recruitment team is Toney.
The report claims that Arsenal are set to “keep a watchful eye” over the Brentford star, and that while there is nothing imminent in their interest, their scouts are going to continue monitoring his development with the Championship outfit.
Despite Lacazette’s great form over these past few weeks – he’s managed four goals in his past four Premier League games – the fact he will turn 30 in May puts the Gunners in a difficult position.
The Mesut Ozil situation has no doubt left some major scars about handing an ageing player a big-money contract, and it remains to be seen whether his recent good form is worthy of shelling out a lot of money for someone like Lacazette.
Instead, if Arsenal make the tough but arguably logical call in selling the Frenchman to try and receive at least some sort of fee for him, then it could allow them to pursue a move for Toney, who has been a revelation over the past couple of seasons.
He’s already proven he can take one step up and handle the pressure well, whilst at just 24, has got plenty of time to develop into a fine Premier League striker too.
Speaking earlier last year, Peterborough’s director of football, Barry Fry, said: “He’s turned into a tremendous all-round footballer. It’s important to remember Ivan is not just an exceptional goal-scoring forward, he’s also an outstanding defender.”
Toney himself has the confidence that he could be a top-flight striker, saying back in November: “I’ve always liked Zlatan. I just love his confidence. Some people see it as arrogance but you must be like that to succeed. I’m similar to Zlatan in both my confidence and the way I play. When he wants to do something, he just does it. I have some of that in my game and personality. And I believe I’ll be a Premier League striker.”
Given Toney is backing up his words on the pitch, then there’s no doubting that he has got that element of Ibrahimovic in him. Someone who might talk the talk, but can walk the walk too. If Arsenal are looking for a striker to come in if Lacazette leaves, then the Brentford ace could be the player to turn to.
Meanwhile, Arsenal must sell this young English talent…